10.09.2009 23 °C
Yesterday the ladies and I got up and ready and set out towards a market in Florence. The streets here are really narrow, like all one way streets, and a horse carridge had just ridden past us. I looked down the road and there was a massive pile of horse poo right in the middle of the street. As we headed towards it down the street, we watched all of the cars and motorbikes swerve to avoid it. Just as we were walking past it, a stupid truck decides to put his tires RIGHT THROUGH IT. We here's 3 screechy Canadians pressed flat to the shop walls, covering our hair with our hands and screaming, hoping we wouldn't get splattered by the horse shit. Luckily we didn't, but we sure checked ourselves out after, as it was all over the sidewalk just a few feet away from us. A british lady just kept walking and laughed at us, which wasn't very nice! Anyways, we're PRETTY sure we avoided it, but just by a hair!
Once we found the market it was massive, going down all different streets. We all oogled over glass jewelry, scarves, more jewelry, and I cringed past all the leather. One leather vender shouted out, "Ciao bella! I have a beautiful coat for you and one for your mother," and I was like, "Uh, no thanks." And he said, "What, you don't like leather? Why?" And the activist in me said back, "Because leather is dead skin!" And he was like, "Oh, are you vegetarian?" and after I said yes and as I was walking away he said, "Hey, the cows were vegetarians too!" I'm like nice move buddy. But the market was really fun, and huge. We then found an indoor food market, full of meat, cheese, oil, wine, and veggies. Mom was gagging at the meat, but we tried some really good tapenade, and bought some delicious unripe black olives. They're still green but they taste like black olives they're sooo yummy.
After all the shopping we did, we dropped our stuff off at the hostel and headed out to catch the train to Pisa to check out the leaning tower. It was a gorgeous day, so I knew the pictures would be perfect.
We made our way across town to the big square the holds the famous tower. Mom wasn't all that impressed at first, ("Oh my god, that's IT?! It's hardly even leaning!") until I explained to her that most buildings don't really lean like that without falling over. We all got our pictures with it, and had fun doing it. Here are some of the best ones.
After pictures we browsed the venders around the square. They sold some pretty good Pisa stuff, like leaning coffee mugs, shot glasses etc, lots of boxers with the leaning tower in, well, just the right spot, and tons of cute pins and fridge magnets. I collect pins and mom fridge magnets so we had a hard time choosing. We spents some time just wandering the square and then headed back to Florence. As we got to the train station I looked up at the 'departures' board, looked down at my watch, and yelled, "RUUN!" to the ladies. As they were trailing behind me down the stairs and through the platforms, mom yelled, "How did you even read that?! Where are we going?!" the board said 17:29 to Florence and it was 17:26. It would have only been a half hour wait till the next train, but I figured I show the ladies a little travelling stress. We made it with a few minutes to spare, as the train was a couple of minutes late, and we got seats all together and everything. Hi-fives all around on the train!
Once in Florence we were pretty hungry, and thought we'd try something different for dinner, as we've eaten at the same restaurant since we got to Florence because it's such a good deal and so good. A lady handed us a menu and talked us into eating there, and they had a lot of choice, so we sat down. There was a humungous pepper grinder at our table, but we moved it to the corner and waited to be served. It probably took 5 minutes to get a menu, as the lady who got us in was still outside convincing other people to come in too. Finally we ordered and got our wine and bread, but we didn't have plates, oil, or vinegar for the bread like everyone else did. After contemplating what to do, Kristel takes a big swig of wine, gets up, grabs us plates off the server's cart, and oil and vinegar off of an empty table, and bought them back over to us. We should have tipped her!
The waiter forgot my food, so I shared mom's delicious pasta until my asparagus risotto came. I really wanted pepper on it, but since the service wasn't very good, I figured I'd have to do it myself. There's this huge pepper grinder still sitting on our table, so I went for it. What the hell right? Mom grabbed my camera ready, so here's the shot:
We probably looked like crazy tourists, but whatever. Our food was good, and the wine was even better, so we sucked up the service. It made things quite comical, actually!
This morning we booked out train tickets to Venice and went out looking for more markets, when it started to rain. We headed back to the hostel to get our rain coats, then we found some pizza for lunch. After walking for at least 20 minutes to find the markets, we found them closed! Lame. So we headed back to the hostel, grabbing some gelato on the way. Pretty much a write-off day but we need it; I'm exhausted today, so a little rest will do us good I think. Hopefully it stops raining here for the rest of our trip! 3 weeks monday and I'll be back home! Already!